Despite a surge in Covid-19 cases, Minor Food Group Plc, one of the country's leading restaurant chains, vows to continue with its expansion plan to open more than 100 stores next year to accelerate business growth.
Kreetakorn Siriatha, the company's chief financial and strategy officer, said the company is ready to move ahead with the opening of more than 100 new branches of its food brands including Sizzler, The Pizza Company, Burger King, The Coffee Club, Swensen's, Bonchon and Dairy Queen. The new branches would be medium-sized, he said.
"Even with new Covid infections, we do not feel panic, unlike before. We will continue to invest in selective locations that promise a quick return on investment, with customer profiles that meet our criteria for lowered risk," said Mr Kreetakorn. "Over the past two years, we learned to establish the strength of every channel. We are confident our customers know how to protect themselves as well."
He said the group was highly cautious on investment for two years, but 2023 is a year to drive business growth.
Mr Kreetakorn said the group is focusing on core businesses, strengthening them via rebranding next year, specifically The Pizza Company and The Coffee Club.
"We are worried about inflation, but we prepared preventive measures to mitigate any impact. However, consumer behaviour changed during the pandemic. Customers still love the convenience of ordering food via delivery, which may affect Sizzler restaurants, which records the majority of its sales from dining in. Moreover, various new players have entered the market," he said.
Anirute David Collins, general manager of SLRT Co, a subsidiary of Minor Food Group and the operator of Sizzler, said the chain is planning store expansion and renovation, the introduction of new recipes, and an e-member upgrade next year. The firm plans to open 4-5 Sizzler restaurants next year, with each branch requiring an investment of 10 million baht, while renovating the same tally of branches, he said. Sizzler outlets would total 65-66 in 2023.
Mr Kreetakorn said for the first 11 months of Sizzler's operations this year, business has grown consistently and the firm expects to match the pre-pandemic level by year-end.
Mr Anirute said to enhance the brand's image during the year-end holiday season and provide consumers with a new experience, festive recipes would be launched to satisfy meat lovers, including grilled pork tomahawk, beef loin steak and grilled tiger prawn, and grilled sous vide beef prime ribs imported from Australia. These dishes are available from now through the middle of January at 22 branches in Bangkok, along with suburban and tourist sites.
"In Asia-Pacific, premium steaks are popular with consumers," he said.